Water Spinach Recipe with Spicy Tomato Sambal

Origin: Lombok island
Source: Made, my roommate as well as ex colleague in Batam


  • 250 g water spinach
  • 2 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 3 pc small red chillies / bird chillies
  • 1 pc big size tomato
  • ¼ tsp scramble roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • salt or to taste

Water Spinach with Spicy Tomato Sambal

Here it is…. a typical famous dish from Lombok island, Pelecing Kangkung. I've came acrossed this dish for the first time in 2004 while watching my roommate, Made who's cooked this menu for all of us. Made who's a native Balinese, the closest neighbour of Lomboknese people admitted that she's been also familiar with this dish since her childhood times.
In my opinon, Pelecing Kangkung is indeed a simple dish which quite easy to prepare but the taste is really superb!! Especially for the chilli fans ;-). It is a very popular food in Lombok as daily dishes and usually served together with plain rice, accompanied by fried tempeh, fried chicken or grilled chicken. It's really tasty and yummy !! ;-).
Important Notes :
1st. I should warn you that dried shrimp paste smells quite awful especially for Europeans, but the taste in Nasi Goreng or other finished dishes (if required) is greatfully aromatic and essential to the authenticity of Indonesian cuisine. My suggestion, use it only little at first as I write in this recipe. It is less than in my Indonesian version.
2nd. Once boiled / blanchiered, rinse the water spinach immediately with a cold water to preserve it's natural colour. Otherwise the colour will change to black!!
Last but not least thx and credit goes to Made who's shared this recipe.


  • Water Spinach: Trim and discard the bottom coarse, hard end of the water spinach.
  • Cut the remaining part as desired, wash set to drain.
  • Boil enough water then boil / blanchier the water spinach for about 1-2 minutes only.
  • Rinse with a cold water and set to drain with colander.
  • Tomato Sambal: Grind the chillies, tomato and roasted dried shrimp paste in a mortar / grinding stone until smooth.
  • Add the salt to taste then add in the lime juice. Stir to mix.
  • Arrange the water spinach in a serving plate then pour on the tomate sambal in the middle of the plate.
  • Serve with rice and fried tempe or fried chicken as a condiment.
Keyword Indonesian, Lombok, tomato sambal, water spinach

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